Happy Monday and last day of April, GLNers! Although Mondays are usually media oriented, I’ve got something a little different for you today. As I’m sure you are aware, tomorrow is May 1st. But as you may not be aware, May 1st is Lei Day in Hawaii. And thanks to our world-traveler Duke, I’ve got the scoop on Lei Day for you! According to Duke:
Lei Day was adopted around the early 1900s as the name for the Hawaiian-Pacific Polynesian
version of the Spring festivals, which exist in many countries such as Germany, Ireland, and Sweden. Lei Day is a celebration of Hawaiian culture, language, and customs.
For Hawaiians, a lei is defined as a garland or wreath of flowers, seashells, or any art-deco objects strung together to present around one’s neck as a symbol of love or appreciation. A lei, much like the word Aloha, is given upon arrival or given as you leave. It’s typical, during a graduation, for a Hawaiian to have their neck completely flooded with leis of different varieties.
A lei should never be thrown in the trash. It’s like you’re throwing the love away. Instead, a flower lei can be hung on a tree and returned to the natural environment where it was derived. Lastly, a lei should be given and should never be taken, since it would be a sign of disrespect.
In the picture below, Duke sports a lei at Bishop Museum’s “Grow Hawaiian” festival April 29, Kalihi, Honolulu, island of Oahu, Hawai’i. The Tea Leaf Lei could typically be worn open (versus closed circle) for men or for women who are pregnant.
Happy early Lei Day!! 🙂